In cases where an employer outlines, in a written agreement with employees' representatives, substantive operational reasons that prevent them from designating work to an employee, that employee is entitled to wage compensation. The amount of this compensation is stipulated in the agreement and must be, at minimum, 60% of their average earnings.
Another option allowing flexibility in case of substantive operational reasons that prevent the employer from designating work to an employee is the implementation of a working time account. It must be agreed in written with employees' representatives (also in the collective agreement) and cannot exceed 30 months. An employer is obliged to pay an employee the basic wage component corresponding to the employee's determined weekly working time. The employee is obliged to complete any working hours owed to the employer without undue delay, when the employer is in a position to provide them with work again.
Based on a collective agreement or an agreement with employee representatives, an employer may distribute working time unevenly to individual weeks over a period of 4-12 months. Working time may, however, not exceed 12 hours within 24 hours. An employee may be requested to work overtime for up to 150 hours per calendar year.
In relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, new short-time working schemes have been made available via Measures 1-3 included in the First Aid package. Since April 2020, employers and self-employed, whose firms suffered compulsory closures by decision of the Public Health Authority can apply for financial support with the public employment service UPSVaR corresponding up to 80% of the average wages of their employees. Employers and self-employed, who were not compulsory closed but experienced a drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have two options: apply for 80% wage compensation or for fixed allowance depending on the percentage of drop in demand (at least 20%). Usual contributions to insurance funds are still being paid by the firms. Maintenance of jobs and wage replacement is co-financed from the ESF. Since 1 October 2020, the measures were modified in First Aid+ and First Aid++ packages. They are available till the end of 2021. More details are available in Eurofound COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database.
Also the use of working from home significantly increased during the pandemic. Since 4 April 2020, according to the amendments to the Labour Code, employers are entitled to order eployees to work from home and employees have the right to work from home during the pandemic. Since 1 March 2021, working from home and telework is newly regulated in more details. For instance, regulates the right of employees to disconnect.
According to Informačný systém o pracovných podmienkach (ISPP) 2016, by Trexima s.r.o. and the MPSVR SR, agreements on the implementation of a working time account were concluded in 6.0%, of short-time working in 8.3% and of flexible working time in 24.2% of the surveyed companies in the business sector (3,380 companies with 678,922 employees). However, according to agreements concluded by OZ Kovo (Metal union), mainly in mechanical engineering, automotive and electric sectors, working time account was agreed in 19.8%, flexible working time in 49.3% and short-time working in 29.5% of surveyed companies in the sample. Figures indicate increasing working time flexibility in comparison with 2013 data. In 2019, working time account was implemented in 4.6%, short-time working in 6.5% and flexible working time in 21.5% of 3,823 companies (678,177 employess) included in the survey. ISPP did not provide any data for 2020.
As far as working from home is concerned, according to available information, up to 80% of employees were working from home in companies in 2020.
Cost covered by
Involved actors other than national government
- Trade union
- Works council